Shapes – eStorytime

When planning this storytime, it felt like there were a lot more good apps/ebooks about shapes than print ones about them.  (At least in my library when I was last-minute-planning.)

Opening Slide on Keynote:
Shapes eStorytime - 2015-03-06 start slide

Come Along and Sing With me Slide
Come Along and Sing with Me

toddler teasers app 1toddler teasers app 3toddler teasers app 2
Toddler Teasers – Shapes     (FREE; iOS)

I thought it would be fun to start out the storytime by allowing kids to identify different shapes.  I was asking my colleague AnnMarie (our resident iPad guru) for ideas about apps to use and she mentioned this one.  It had exactly what I was looking for, except I wish I had played with it a bit long before deciding to use it.  Because after a few kids got to play, you then “earn a sticker” which takes you out of the app a bit.  It wasn’t a big deal, and you can continue playing after that, it’s just a reminded to use the apps for longer before I bring them out so there are no surprises.

Four Little Corners appFour Little Corners app icon
Four Little Corners by Dada Company

In Four Little Corners little square wants to play with the little circles, but he can’t fit through the round door!  Can the friends figure out a way to get everyone inside?


Draw a Circle
Draw a circle, draw a circle (draw a circle in the air with your finger)
Round as can be
Draw a circle, draw a circle
Just or me.

Draw a square, draw a square (draw a square in the air with your finger)
Shaped like a door
Draw a square, draw a square
with corners four.

Draw a triangle, draw a triangle (draw a triangle in the air with your finger)
With corners three
Draw a triangle, draw a triangle
Just for me.

pet cafe app matching 1Pet cafe app matching 2
Sago Mini Pet Cafe by Sago Sago ($2.99, iOS)

This time, we played the “dog” game with Sago Mini Pet Cafe.  In this game, a purple shaded version of a food is placed in front of the animal and the user has to drag the purple shape with their finger to match it to the white shape.  When you get it right, the shape shows you want it is, the animal eats it, and then you get to see what the animal things of the food.  Dog is not a fan of broccoli, apparently.  I walked around with the iPad so that each of the children present had a turn to match the shapes.


The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss from Oceanhouse Media (iOS, Android Kindle, Nook, $3.99)

The Dr. Seuss story comes to life in this app.  The app will say the name of some of the shapes when you tap on them, so this makes it fun to have the guess what a silhouette is, and then see if they are right!

“Jump Up, Turn Around” by Jim Gill from Jim Gill’s Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times

Tino the Triangle app 1Tino the Triangle app 2Tino the Triangle app 3
Tino the Triangle from Larixpress (iOS; free for starter story, $1.99 for full story)

This was a fun app to read/play because it is half story, half guessing game.  The story begins, and as you tap the yellow triangle it turns into the blue background page with an animal noise sound.  The children can guess the animal and then tap again to see if they are correct!  Some of the noises are actually pretty difficult to decipher.

SONG: “Storytime’s Over”*


APP: Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong, Illustrated by Grace Lin from PicPocket Books ($2.99 iOS)
APP: Geoboard by The Math Learning Center from Clarity Innovations (FREE; iOS) (To make shakes on the board)
APP: Busy Shapes by Seven Academy ($1.99; iOS) (This may have been a good alternative to Toddler Teasers Shapes that I used in the beginning)

After looking through the estorytimes I have done, I realized that most of my technical issues arise when I am moving from one media to the other (like from iPad mirroring to cd).  This time, so as to avoid that, I decided to play the Jim Gill action song I use through the iPad.  I forgot to add it to my playlist, but I did find a streaming version of it online and just went there to play it.  And it worked!

ATTENDANCE: 14 people (children and adults)

*To see the words to these movements and activities I use frequently, please visit my A-capella Movements Section on my Storytime Movements and Music Page

App prices were correct at the time of writing this blog, but may have changed since. There may also be changes to available platforms for apps as well.

Preschool Dance Party!

On Friday February 20th I hosted my first dance party here at the library!  I’m currently working on a grant to bring more play into the library, had heard about many libraries offering one, and thought it would be a perfect way to play and move.  After being inspired by some fabulous blog posts from Storytiming, Jbrary, The Show Me Librarian, Storytime with Miss Sara, Thrive After Three, Catch the Possibilities, and Fat Girl Reading I finally felt confident enough to make the dance party happen!


1) “The Tempo Marches On” by Jim Gill from Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi On His Toe Leg Knee 
I wasn’t sure how quickly parents and kids would start dancing, or how comfortable people would feel at first, so I picked this one first because I thought it was an easy movement song that was easy enough for everyone to participate.  You are practically running at the end of the song, so be prepared!

Chocolate Milk and Other Tasty Tunes
2) “Whatever Dance” by Dana McCarthy from Chocolate Milk and Other Tasty Tunes
I feel like this one was sort of the mission statement for my dance party: “Whatever dance you want to do, it’s good for me if it’s good for you.”

Caspar Babypants I Found You
3) “All The Fish” by Caspar Babypants from I Found You!
Caspar Babypants is one of my favorite children’s bands, so I was happy when I saw this title highlighted on Jbrary‘s blog.  As suggested, we pretended to be all the different animals mentioned in the song and swim like they would swim.  Perfect song for breaking our your swim moves.

Yo Gabba Gabba Music is Awesome
4) “Robo Dancing” by Money Mark from Yo Gabba Gabba! Music is Awesome!
I thought it would be fun (and funny) to have all the kids show me their best robot moves.

Brother Yusef Kids Get the Blues Too
5) “Shake It” by Brother Yusef from Kids Get the Blues Too/Blues for Beginners
Time to break out the shakers!  For each prop I used I wanted to find a song that would just allow the kids to dance freely with it, and then one that they could follow instructions to.  This one was the free dance for the shakers.  Brother Yusef has visited our library many times and he never fails to get toes tapping and shoulders shimmying.

Kathy Reid-Naiman Reach for the Stars
6) “Shake It To the East” by Kathy Reid-Naiman from Reaching for the Stars!
This was the song we used to follow instructions with the shakers.    Especially fun was the little pause part in the middle where everyone stops shaking.

Imagination Movers Juice Box Heroes
7) “Shakable You” by Imagination Movers from Juice Box Heroes
Moving from shaking the shakers to shaking your body!

The Muppets the Green Album
8) “Mahna Mahna” by The Frey from Muppets: The Green Album
At this point in the program I was tired, so I decided we needed to have a sit down.  We all sat in a circle and danced only with our arms for this song.

Josh Levine for Kids
9) “The Hokey Pokey” by Josh Levine from Josh Levine for Kids
We stood up from our circle and then Hokey Pokey-ed!

Carole Peterson Dancing Feet
10) “Dancing Scarf Blues” by Carole Peterson from Dancing Feet.
Time to bring out the scarves!  We started with the instructional song first this time.

Laurie Berkner Buzz Buzz
11) “Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)” by Laurie Berkner from Buzz Buzz
And now just dancing freely, with scarves going wild when the bumblebee buzzes.

William Janiak Arms Up Keep Moving
12) “Arms Up!” by William C. Janiak from Arms Up Keep Moving
Another guided movement song.  I wasn’t so sure about this one, but Fat Girl Reading mentioned that it was a great track so I thought I would try it out.  Of course, total success.

Bari Koral Rock and Roll Garden
13) “Clap It” by Bari Koral Family Rock Band from Rock and Roll Garden
While I’m not exactly sure how to clap my toes, this was a fun one to move along to.

Pharrell GIRL
14) “Happy (From Despicable Me 2)” by Pharrell Williams from G I R L
I’d heard that this one was always a hit in family dance parties as well.  Yup, it is.

Joanie Leeds I'm a Rock Star
15) “Goodbye, Goodbye” by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights from I’m a Rock Star
A nice song to end things with.

ATTENDANCE: 40 people


This was a super fun program, but a TIRING one.  I counted this as my workout for the day.  Make sure to wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable to move in.  I am glad I held my dance party close to the end of the day.  If I do a future one early in the day, I may consider bringing an extra change of clothes, just in case.

I wasn’t sure how many people would attend the program and I was waffling regarding where I should hold the dance party.  Our storytime room would have been great, because it has a door that closes so that the sound can be contained.  But, it has large, broad step areas that make the space more like an amphitheater, and I knew we would need plenty of space to move around.  My library recently opened a studio space which is a large open area on our 4th floor.  It has no doors, so the sound carried everywhere, but the flat emptiness made it really nice for everyone to move around.  And since it was just 45 minutes or the noise wasn’t too much of problem.

As the dj I sort of tried to guide the patrons into what dance moves we would do for each song.  “Ok, now we’re going to put on the robot song!  How would you dance if you were a robot?”  I am wondering if this is too limiting, or if it provides needed structure.  Will think about his.

I played everything from my iPad through the wireless speakers we had.  This is awesome and much easier to control than having to deal with a cd player.

I think I am going to have to do one again during our music-themed summer reading program.